Newcastle United And The Saudi Prince

If there is anything that has made more buzz in footballing communities off the field in 2021 is the Saudi Prince takeover of a traditional English club. Newcastle United, regarded as the powerhouse in English football once made headlines for not winning trophies but a controversial takeover by a Saudi group. 

In this article we will look into what went on between Saudi Prince and the Magpies until overtaking the famous club in October of 2021.

Saudi Prince Taking Over New Castle

How did it start?

In April 2020, news surfaced that PCP capital partners, Reuben brothers and Public Investment fund of Saudi Arabia had filed a joint interest to bid the ownership of Newcastle united worth (pound) 300 million. Until then the black and white club was owned by British billionaire Mike Ashley. 

Moreover, media speculation grew so as to why the Saudi prince wanted to buy the English club. It is believed the Saudi billionaire wanted to build his legitimacy and credibility which was ruined in the international community after the suspicious death of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Veteran journalist was believed to be killed for his critical opinion toward the powerful Al Saud royal family. 

Undoubtedly, the Al Saud family thought that buying a popular team like Newcastle in one of the most powerful countries in Europe could help to clean the image. 

Controversial takeover

Money was never an issue for the Saudi prince worth $18 billion to buy a $300 million club. However, legal issues made the takeover process a hasty job.Although consortium to buy the Magpies started in April 2020, it took more than a year to complete the legal issue. 

Before carrying out the paper process, bids drew from various opposition parties and one such party was Qatar state owned media beIN. The qatar based media group alleged Saudi over illegally streaming beIN sports broadcast through illegal service beoutQ. Although the Saudi government had shut down the illegal broadcasting in 2019, it had already done significant damage to beIN financially.

In addition, when the news about Saudi takeover of Newcastle emerged, CEO of beIN wrote to Premier chairman and its members demanding the prospective takeover be blocked.Moreover, Amnesty international opposed the Saudi takeover stating it was a properly thought effort of Saudi government to ‘’sport wash’ their poor human right record. All of this controversy forced Premier league bodies to delay the takeover of the club. 


However, things changed after Newcastle United fans filed a petition to the government relating to the delay of the takeover by Saudi family. This made the UK government release a statement saying ‘’ there must be clarity on why there was significant delay in a decision being made’’.

 In no time Premier League CEO issued a public statement to the Saudi government to create a separation between the Saudi government and Public Investment Fund, the bidder.

This created a space between the league and the Saudi owner. Also Saudi on the other hand lifted the ban on broadcasting of beIN sports in their country. In no time the takeover of Newcastle united was officially confirmed with Saudi owning 80 % stake whilst PCP Capital and Ruben brothers owning 10 % each. This take took place officially on October 7 2021.